We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

A Dream Blue & White Backyard Patio Makeover

A Dream Blue & White Backyard Patio Makeover

We've poured so much love and excitement into this project that I couldn't be more thrilled to reveal it to you today. We're finally ready to share the affordable outdoor living space makeover we gave my sister's new backyard patio that just so happens to feature the most ah-maz-ing coastal-inspired lounge chair makeover by my friends, the fabric and upholstery geniuses at Calico. And bonus: There's a video! And videos make everything more fun, don't they? So make sure you peep the video above for my sister's reaction to seeing her new chairs and space for the first time post-makeover! Best surprise ever!

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If you're not caught up, make sure you hop over to our previous post about this project with all of the info and before photos of this space so you can take in what a major transformation this is. To quickly recap, my sis and her fam just built and moved into their dream forever home. But after focusing so much on the inside of the house, they didn't feel like they had the time, energy or frankly the budget to focus on furnishing their beautiful new backyard patio space with equally beautiful, new decor. Enter, "Operation: Surprise Housewarming Gift!"


I thought it would be such a fun (and totally genius, if I do say so myself) housewarming gift to have Calico help me take her beat up old lounge chairs that look like a wild beast had ravaged them and give them a beautiful coastal-inspired facelift that perfectly complements the overall design scheme throughout the home, which features beautiful blue and white tones, warm, worn wood and gorgeous gold accents.

The teak lounge chairs themselves have great bones, and my mom and I were able to easily spiff them up with a little sanding and cleaning (the process for which we blogged all about). So a beautiful makeover on the cushions was all the chairs needed to shine like diamonds in my sister's new space. We love a good furniture makeover and you know how much I live for diving into the massive fabric selection at Calico and finding the perfect thing, so basically this project was all my design dreams come true.

Luckily, Calico has the most incredible selection of performance fabrics on the planet -- a.k.a. fabrics that are perfect for outdoor use and standing up to the elements. Seriously. The selection of colors, patterns and price points of their performance fabrics is extensive, so you don't have to settle for a style you're not in love with like you would with pre-fabbed cushions from any other retailer.

Not only that, Calico's performance fabrics are second-to-none as far as quality goes. Sure, other stores sell performance fabrics and outdoor cushions, but when it comes to quality, not all performance fabrics are created equal. And obviously, quality is key when it comes to durability. As you can see from her previous cushions, not all performance fabrics stand up to the elements like they should. I wanted my sister and her family to be able to enjoy these chairs and this space for years to come, not just a year or two, so having Calico upholster the cushions was a no-brainer in my mind. 

I had very limited knowledge of outdoor or "performance fabrics" before this project and only knew that I needed extraordinary quality with style galore. But hey, that's what the experts are for, right? Right. The team at Calico filled me in on everything I needed to know about their range of over 1,000 indoor and indoor/outdoor performance fabrics (yep, told you their selection was ah-maz-ing). And guess what? You can get all of the info I did in Calico's handy-dandy online performance fabric brochure that breaks down all of the important details. Too easy, I tell you. Too easy!

Beyond the pretty new fabric, the cushions desperately needed new foam, too. The Calico team gave me a little masterclass in outdoor foam and told me that if the foam in your outdoor cushions feels crunchy or brittle instead of soft and bouncy, that's no bueno. No bueno at all. The new foam in the cushions would not only be bouncy and comfortable, but it's designed to stand up to the elements, so it will dry quickly and easily and last for years.

You may remember that for the fabric on the cushions themselves, we chose Sunbrella stripe fabric Lido in color "Indigo," and though I knew that it was going to be good, holy crow, you guys, is the end result dreamier than dreamy. Seriously -- is this real life? Not only does the fabric look even cooler on the chairs than I'd originally imagined, but the expert upholstery job on the cushions is just so stunning in every way. If you look closely, there's not a stitch or a line out of place and every detail was attended to. Seeing these cushions on the teak chaise lounge chairs totally transports me to some chic Hamptons poolside where casual summer cocktails at 1 p.m. are an everyday occurrence and I’m napping in my bathing suit on these gloriously comfy loungers in 30-minute intervals. #Goals.

In addition to the perfectly coastal indigo stripe, I also love how soft the fabric feels to the touch (which you’ll notice my sister mentions in the video) and that it has a gorgeous navy contrast welt. That’s such a beautiful touch that really elevated the style, in my opinion. For that, we used Sunbrella fabric Canvas in color "Navy."

And oooohhhh, the pillows! Calico created two 20"x20" throw pillows in the Sunbrella fabric Spectrum in color "Indigo" with a gorgeous contrast welt in the Sunbrella fabric Canvas in color "White" and then topped it all off with two 12"x22" lumbar pillows in the Sunbrella fabric Spectrum in color "Denim." I said in our previous post on this project that I was in love with that chambray-esque fabric on the lumbar pillow, but I'm even more in love now that I've seen it on the chairs and with the other pillows. It's pure perfection.

The Calico Performance Fabrics We Used


20"x20" PILLOW

12"x22" PILLOW


And as promised, I also gave my sister's patio space an affordable little makeover as well, with some really fun budget-friendly decor that packs a big punch on the style front. It perfectly complements those beautiful new lounge chairs and her home in general and just screams blue and white coastal chic! There are so many details in there that I'm obsessed with and seriously contemplated stealing and taking home to our house. Mar giveth and Mar taketh away. Such is sisterhood, right?! 

I'm dying over these amazing gold pineapple cocktail glasses that are perfect for a patio space or lounging poolside, these woven bar chairs and side tables that are an amazingly durable, budget-friendly version of pricier lookalikes, this super fun indoor/outdoor jute pouf and of course all of the large lanterns, including the wood ones and these fun gold ones. I absolutely love using them on the ground to add warm, low light and extra dreaminess to a backyard patio space. I've also become totally obsessed with using these braided baskets to house greenery in and outside of the house, so of course I had to use them again here. And this affordable woven indoor/outdoor rug with a navy border was a great way to warm up the space overall and add to the coastal, natural vibe. Also, don't these gold palm candle holders just scream chic, warm-weather lounging? 

If you're interested in the rest of the decor details for the space, I've linked all of the items we used (for the most part) in the "Shop" widgets above and below, so make sure you scroll through to find what you love. 

You guys, I can't even tell you how incredibly happy it made me to see the look on my sister's face the first time she saw her new chairs and her fun, fresh outdoor living space. She seriously could not believe that she was looking at the same chairs and her face in the video says it all. To say that Calico knocked it out of the park on this one would be the understatement of the century. We both couldn't be more grateful for them. 

So what do you guys think? Are you loving this outdoor living space makeover as much as we are? We hope you'll give the video a watch so you can see my sister's totally stunned reaction and get a feel for the space in motion -- it really does come to life on screen!

Make sure you drop us a comment below and let us know what your favorite part of my sister's new chairs and space is, and if you happen to hop over to our YouTube channel via the video, make sure you give us a "Subscribe" to see more fun videos from yours truly!

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Thank you to Calico, a brand we love, for sponsoring this post. 

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